I recently purchased an item that I have been wanting to get since my initial entry into the homebrewing hobby in 2004. I had always heard of the advantages of owning your own grain mill and the promises of freshness and personal control of the grain crush are something that definitely appeals to me. Having the ability to purchase grains in larger quantities, store them, and crush whenever the homebrew beer brewing need arises is a huge advantage over ordering pre-crushed grains or rushing to the local homebrew store just prior to brewing.
I did a lot of research when I went to purchase my own mill and I ran across several great options that were in my price range. I ultimately selected the Cereal Killer from Adventures in Homebrewing and I have been very pleased with the purchase. I know that earlier versions of this mill received lackluster reviews but several changes have been made that make this unit a very competitively priced product with excellent performance characteristics.
Early versions of this mill utilized brass bushings like many mills on the market but many reports indicated they were poorly fit and caused uneven motion or even binding during operation. As of this writing, the new Cereal Killer mill uses ball bearings and I can attest to the very smooth rotation of both the drive and passive rollers.
Many people who owned the earlier versions of this mill complained that it was too difficult to crank. Since I am utilizing my DeWalt power drill, however, this doesn’t really matter to me. For those who prefer to hand-crank their mills, however, the newest version of the Cereal Killer now includes a longer handle for easier cranking power.
Adjusting the crush of this mill is as simple as loosening two screws, adjusting the gap and re-tightening the screws. To aid in the adjustment, there are some etched measurements around the gap adjustment screws.
The unit has a 7 pound hopper and nice base that mates easily with a standard 5 gallon brewing bucket. Although the hopper is a bit small, milling grain in 7 pound quantities still doesn’t take more than a minute or so per batch to accomplish. I would say it takes me about 5 minutes to mill 15 pounds of grain which really isn’t too bad.
I have been setting the crush to .037″ and my homebrewing brewhouse efficiency has increased quite a bit. I have yet to experience a stuck mash even with my constant mash circulation system which is a great thing.
If you are looking for a lesser expensive grain mill that gets the job done, is built to last, and has been refined based upon customer feedback/complaints, this one is a great choice. It is a little less expensive than the popular Barley Crusher but seems like a better all-around value.
If you have experience with this mill or another on the market, leave some information about it in the comment section below.